First few days in Rio

Trip Start May 02, 2008
Trip End May 26, 2008

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Of course we´ve left it a few days  before starting this thing, the weathers been good, an we´ve been busy!!! Keyboads in the cafe´s are pretty poor so bear with any typo´s!


The  flight was pretty awful, delayed and long but we arrived at our hostel and got into our room by around 11am. It was hot and sunny so straight to copacabanna beach for sun, sand, sea,  thongs and speeedo´s (not on us)! Went to possibly the best chicken restaurant of all time for dinner. Had an early night but up early sunday.....


After all can eat breakfast at the hostel, we  rented out bikes an  began a ride of epic preportions! Travelled the length of Copacabanna beach, round to, and the length of Ipenema beach where we chilled for a bit before having lunch round Lagoa Rorigo de Freitas. Then headed back to the hostel and out for food. Restaurant charged per 100g  - the cheapest way to eat. s take was superb.


First we had to move from out ouble room and into a dorm  - not too bad,  8 bed´s inc. a guy from Louisianna teaching English, and  English guy working in the hostel and two Norweigan lads. We booked onto a tour of the Fevela Rocinha, the largest in Rio. Mini-bus to the bottom of the hill then onto motorbike taxi, driven by manics, who, it seemed ha nothing to live for. up winding ´roads´,   taking blind corners on the wrong side while it seemed a convoy of digger trucks came speeding down in the opposite direction.  not a great first ride for Lizzie!

Geeted by a small boy with a joint in his ear, and were read the rules by our guide - ´ít´s not as dangerous as you think, but stay with me, don´t buy drugs when they are offered, and don´t take photos of the look-outs with guns´. Reassuering. Sure enough, after 200m there was a middle aged man - around 14 years old with a  gun and walkie talkie working as a look-out (later told members of the drug gangs never live to 25!) carried on through the streets, pretty grimey but looking inside some, didnt look too bad. the electric / telephone poles had  hundres of wires coming from them where the locals tap free electric and cable tv...cant imagine the electric company will complain where even the police dont dare to go. Rubbish in the streets and open sewars running down the side, sometimes overflowing onto the paths.

Loads of graffiti on the walls - the letters ADA written everywhere - amigos de amigos, the gang that controlled the area. Stopped at a bakery and had dougnuts, wasnt sure if this was a good idea, but bad things havent happened yet! Then we visited a playschool for kids 0-4 years that the money from the tours funded so that kids could be looked after while parents looked for/work.
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